Bollinger Shipyards

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Bollinger Shipyards LLC
IndustryShipbuilding, defense
Founded1946; 73 years ago (1946)
FounderDonald G. Bollinger
Area served
Key people
Benjamin G. Bordelon (President and CEO)[1]
ProductsPatrol boats, Cutters, workboats, barges, tugboats

Bollinger Shipyards is an American constructor of ships, workboats and patrol vessels.[2] Its thirteen shipyards and forty drydocks are located in Louisiana and Texas. Its drydocks range in capacity from vessels of 100 tons displacement to 22,000 tons displacement. The firm was founded in 1946.

Coast Guard vessels[edit]

The United States Coast Guard has called upon Bollinger Shipyards to build many of its patrol vessels.

Marine Protector cutters[edit]

Marine Protector showing its stern launching ramp with transom raised.

Bollinger secured the contract to build approximately fifty Marine Protector cutters.[3] These 87 foot (27 m) vessels were staffed by a crew of 10. Uniquely for Coast Guard vessels of this size they were designed to be capable of being crewed by crews of mixed sex. These high speed vessels were lightly armed, mounting just two Browning M2 fifty caliber machine guns. But they were equipped with a stern launching ramp, capable of launching and retrieving a high speed pursuit boat while the cutter was still in motion. The launch and retrieval of the pursuit boat required just one sailor to remain on deck.

Island Class cutters[edit]

Bollinger originally built 49 110 feet (34 m) Island class cutters, so called because each cutter was named after an Island. These vessels were staffed by a crew of 18, and their primary armament was a 25 mm autocannon. Bollinger secured a contract to refit eight of the Island Class cutters, adding thirteen feet to their stern, so they too could launch and retrieve a pursuit boat from a rear launching ramp.[4][5] The refit also included replacing the original deckhouse and refitting the crew accommodation so they could carry a mixed gender crew of 18. The conversion added 15 tons to each vessel. All of the eight refitted 123 feet (37 m) Island class cutters' hulls would crack when driven at high speed in a heavy seas, and proved to be so unseaworthy that they were all withdrawn from service, forcing the scrapping of the conversion program. As a result, in August 2011, the US government sued Bollinger over the failed modifications, alleging that the company made false statements about the hull strength that would result from its extensions to the patrol boats.[6] The suit was dismissed.[7]

First Sentinel-class Fast Response Cutter (FRC), USCGC Bernard C. Webber

Sentinel Class cutters[edit]

On September 26, 2008, Bollinger was awarded US$88 million to build the prototype of the Sentinel-class fast-response cutters.[8] In 2008, Bollinger secured a contract to build the first group of 24 to 34 cutters.[9] On 5 May, 2016 U.S. Coast Guard signed a new contract with Bollinger to build 26 additional vessels, bringing the total on order to 58 at a cost of almost $3.8 billion.[10] A news release said that the new ships will replace ones that Bollinger built more than 30 years previously. The 154 feet (47 m) 240 ton vesselsare staffed by a mixed-sex crew of 22, and are armed with a remote-operated Mk 38 Mod 2 25 mm autocannon and four .50 caliber crew-served Browning M2 machine guns. These vessels can also stern launch and retrieve a high speed pursuit boat, without coming to a stop. They were designed for missions of five days. The first three vessels were launched in 2011,[11] and as of mid-2017 23 had entered service, with deliveries occurring every 73 days.[12]

Polar class icebreakers[edit]

Bollinger was one of five contractors which bid to build new Polar Class icebreakers.[13][14][15][16][17] The five bidders were each awarded a $20 million contract for development work. Bollinger announced that, if it were the winning bidder, it would build the icebreakers in its Tampa, Florida shipyard, which it predicted would employ 1,000 workers for ten years.

United States Navy vessels[edit]

Cyclone-class patrol ships[edit]

USS Chinook (PC-9) -- like the Coast Guard vessels the Cyclone-class vessels deploy and retrieve their pursuit boat via a stern launching ramp.

Bollinger built 14 Cyclone-class patrol ships for the U.S. Navy between 1993 and 2000. The ships are 179 feet (55 m) long and carry a crew of 28 (4 officers, 24 enlisted). Their mission is coastal patrol and interdiction surveillance. These ships can also provide full mission support for Navy SEALs and other special operations forces. As of 2010, four of these vessels have been decommissioned in the Navy. Three had been loaned to the Coast Guard to fill patrol hours but have been returned to the USN as of October 2011.[18] one vessel, PC-1, was transferred to the Philippine Navy, as an excess defense article.[19]

As of 2015, ten of the US Navy's thirteen Cyclone-class patrol ships were deployed to the Persian Gulf to deal with a potential conflict with Iran.[20] The remaining three ships of the class are slated to be transferred to Naval Station Mayport in Florida to work primarily with drug interdiction work with U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO) / U.S. Fourth Fleet.[21]


  1. ^ Bollinger Shipyards. "Executive Team - Bollinger Shipyards". Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  2. ^ "Bollinger: Company Profile". Bollinger Shipyards. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  3. ^ "Aircraft, Boats, and Cutters: Cutters: 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat (WPB) - Marine Protector Class". United States Coast Guard. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
  4. ^ Nathaniel R. Helms (2005-06-23). "Coast Guard Scramble Over Deepwater Snag". Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  5. ^ "Coast Guard ends cutter conversion program". 2005-07-18. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  6. ^ Laster, Jill, "Shipbuilder sued over failed extension of 110s", Military Times, 17 August 2011.
  7. ^ Emily Atkin (October 21, 2013). "Shipyard Ducks $78M FCA Suit Over Flawed Coast Guard Hulls". Law360.
  8. ^ "Acquisition Directorate: Newsroom". United States Coast Guard.[dead link]
  9. ^ "SENTINEL Class Patrol Boat: Media Round Table". United States Coast Guard. 2008-09-30. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-03. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  10. ^ "U.S. Coast Guard has signed a new contract with Bollinger Shipyards"
  11. ^ Chris Vaughn (2011-11-29). "New CG Cutter Named for Local Hero". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Archived from the original on 2011-12-02. Retrieved 2011-12-02. The Coast Guard chose to name its latest fast-response cutter after Flores. The ship is being launched from the Bollinger Shipyards in southern Louisiana and will undergo several months of testing before it is commissioned and joins the fleet.
  12. ^ "Lockport, Louisiana is 'Cutter Country'". Marine Link. June 15, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  13. ^ Connie Lee (2018-03-02). "Five Shipbuilders Expected Vie for Coast Guard Icebreaker Contract (UPDATED)". National Defense magazine. Retrieved 2018-07-18. Those companies included Bollinger Shipyards, Fincantieri Marine Group, General Dynamics and National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, Huntington Ingalls and VT Halter Marine, a Coast Guard statement noted.
  14. ^ Keith McGill (2018-07-09). "Bollinger vies to build icebreakers". Houma Today. Retrieved 2018-07-18. Bollinger is one of five companies awarded contracts last year for heavy polar icebreaker design studies and analysis. The total amount of the contracts was about $20 million for that work.
  15. ^ "Bollinger: New Icebreakers Could be Built in Florida". Marine Link. 2018-07-09. Retrieved 2018-07-18. Bollinger says it has selected Tampa Shipyard for the design and construction of up to three heavy polar icebreakers, and three additional medium-sized icebreakers under consideration by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  16. ^ Chuck Hill (2018-07-09). "Bollinger Wants to Build CG Icebreakers in Tampa". Chuck Hill's CG blog. Retrieved 2018-07-18. MarineLink provides what is almost certainly a quote of press release from Bollinger stating they hope to build the three heavy and three medium icebreakers the Coast Guard has been saying it needs in Tampa.
  17. ^ "Bollinger Commits Coast Guard Icebreaker Program to Florida". Bollinger shipyards. 2018-07-10. Retrieved 2018-07-18. Should we be awarded the contract for the heavies and the anticipated mediums constructed in Tampa, we could be busy here through 2035. Along with the supporting infrastructure of vendors, subcontractors and suppliers, we would expect that locating this program in Tampa will have the benefit of well over 3,500 quality, high paying, full-time jobs with solid benefits packages,” said Ben Bordelon, Bollinger’s President and CEO.
  18. ^[dead link]
  19. ^ "Patrol Coastal". Naval Vessel Register. United States Navy. Archived from the original on 2011-05-14. Retrieved 2010-02-28.
  20. ^ David Axe (2015-04-21). "Congress Hates On the Navy's Tiniest Warships". War is Boring. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  21. ^ Christopher P. Cavas. "PCs on the move – to Central Command". Defense News. Retrieved 2013-07-08. The little PCs were at first scorned when they entered service in the mid-1990s, rejected by the special operations warfare community they were built for as too big. A new lease on life was found after 9/11, when the Navy needed craft to patrol the U.S. coasts, but even that need mostly fell off. Some were sent to the Gulf in 2003 and 2004 to support Operation Iraqi Freedom – a mission that kept the craft steadily employed – but some of those that remained in the U.S. fell by the wayside, becoming little more than spare parts sources for the vessels that remained running.

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